Friday, June 5, 2009

When The Big Uglies Turn Into Fatties

Whenever I watch football, my girlfriend just LOVES to watch the big fat linemen waddle around on the field. Some of her favorites include Leonard Davis of the Dallas Cowboys and Shaun Rodgers aka "Big Baby" of the Cleveland Browns.

She always loves the college football fatties as well because they often have baby faces to go along with their giant bodies. Every time there's a shot of linemen, my girlfriend will talk at the television as though she's talking to a baby or a puppy: "Oh, look at you, you're just a big fatty, yes you are!" Or something similar.

What happens to these guys when they stop playing? NFL linemen have money t
o hire trainers and personal chefs to help them lose their playing weight. But what about the generic college lineman that is done with his college eligibility, but has no shot at NFL ball (and riches)?

Sports Illustrated has a disturbing article about this issue in the most recent magazine. The author tells the story through the eyes of two former Oregon
linemen who have taken it upon themselves to lose their linemen weight.

What I learned during the article is that major college football programs that bring in millions of dollars somehow have never found the time to give ex-players any help with life after football because they have a group of new freshmen coming in. Apparently it's just too hard to actually pay any attention to a guy who's given you four or f
ive years of his life and well-being.

As a result, many former college linemen never take an abstemious approach to eating even when they stop working out. The result is a rotund mass of humanity who has doubled hi
s chances to die before the age of 50.

Some schools are FINALLY starting to come around and help graduating player
s adjust to an average eating schedule after football, but it's still a very sad article in some respects. Linemen who lose weight get excited because they can walk without their knees aching. One guy was ecstatic because if he lost 30 more pounds, he could go buy pants off the rack.

It's unnatural for most 18-22 year olds to pump themselves up to 315 pounds. You'd think the least these multi-million dollar football programs could do is help turn these guys back to normal once they graduate.

1 comment:

  1. i especially liked the "rotund mass of humanity" line. very poetic.